When the finical crisis hit around 2007 and Honda just failed to make an impact within F1, they decided to call it a day at the end of the 2008 season. Substantial development had gone into the new car, so Ross Brawn arranged a partial buy out of the team, renamed it after himself and with a Mercedes engine, found themselves winning the 2009 drivers championship.
Back Up To Date
Move forward to 2015 and Honda are back in F1, not as a full team but as an engine supplier for Mclaren. On paper this is an ideal move, as history shows this is not the first time, these 2 have worked together to extreme success. For Honda you can’t help feeling they jumped too quick back in 2008, following Ross Brawns success in the Honda developed car the following season and for Mclaren, a new afresh start is required after some very understated seasons.
But the challenges of being an engine supplier apart from the huge cost cannot be understated. Just after the huge compliments Ron Dennis was paying to the new Honda engine, it failed to make many test laps on a testing day just after last year’s season ended. And to complicate things further, new rules on engine development that allowed some changes to the power unit during the season were awarded to Ferrari and Renault, but not the new supplier Honda.
What followed was some strenuous campaigning to also allow Honda to develop their engine during the season. What was eventually agreed, was an average token system, where Honda can change certain things on the power unit averaged out by how many changes the other teams have made.
No Real Testing Yet
All this and we have yet to see if the engine can survive any long miles and will it take on the mighty Mercedes power unit that dominated last year’s season. Jerez will see the first of this year’s testing from the 1st February, here we will begin to see whether Mclaren have made the right decision to change supplier, or will they need to wait a few seasons to get the partnership right . We can also see if they will revert back to the famous red and white colour scheme that dominated the Prost and Senna years. This is a huge risk, that will either pay dividends or take the team even further back.
What Could Be
We loved it last season when Lewis stormed the championship, but wouldn’t it be great if Jenson was up there also this year, in his Honda powered Mclaren.